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Ball drop to raise funds for mentoring
Event set for Aug. 28
ball drop putting contest
Mentor Me's volunteer of the year Diane Van Parys putts during the 2009 Ball Drop fundraiser event at St. Marlo Country Club. - photo by Submitted
At a glance

• What: Mentor Me North Georgia’s Third Annual Ball Drop
• When: 6 p.m. Aug. 28
• Where: St. Marlo Country Club, 7755 St. Marlo Country Club Pkwy.
• Cost: $30 per person, $50 per couple; golf balls are $5 for one, $10 for three or $35 for 12
• Contact: or (678) 341-8028

It will be raining golf balls during an upcoming fundraiser.

Mentor Me North Georgia plans to hold its Third Annual Ball Drop event at St. Marlo Country Club on Aug. 28.

The organization, formerly a part of Big Brothers Big Sisters, works to match adults to children in need of positive role models. It also provides other programs, including summer camps and after-school activities.

While many organizations hold traditional golf tournaments, Mentor Me leaders wanted something a little more “unique” for their major fundraiser, said Stephen Deraney, executive director.

“One of our former staff member’s husband suggested something with golf, but not a regular golf tournament,” he said.

The office later joined with Daryl Tatum, owner of Balloons Over Georgia, which provides hot air balloon rides in the Forsyth County area, to develop the ball drop fundraiser.

Leading up to the event, patrons purchase golf balls and receive tickets with numbers. On the night of the event, the balls are labeled with the corresponding numbers.

Tatum takes all the golf balls up in his hot air balloon and then drops them over a golf hole on the St. Marlo course. The ball that lands closest to the hole wins the grand prize.

This year, Deraney said, that prize is a one-week stay at any Wyndham resort in the continental United States.

In addition to the drop itself, the Ball Drop features a silent auction, putting contest, cash bar and hors d’oeuvres.

Kim Slep, who came on board as Mentor Me’s community outreach coordinator in July, said she’s been working to collect as many silent auction items as possible, but could still use more.

The items include: golf carts, paintings, dinners to various restaurants, tickets to Disney World and Dollywood, a Jekyll Island getaway and passes to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta.

Anyone interested in donating to the silent auction should contact Slep at (770) 489-8000.

Deraney said so far about 1,000 golf balls have been purchased, with a goal 2,000.

They are available for purchase through the night of the event, and cost $5 for one, $10 for three or $35 for 12.

Deraney and Slep also hope to draw a bigger crowd than last year to the Aug. 28 event, which costs $30 per person or $50 per couple.
Attendance is not necessary to win the drop.

Last year, Deraney said, about 70 people came out.

“We’d love to have at least 100 this year,” he said.

Added Slep: “It’s a nice, outdoor, fun event. It’s amazing to see them coming from the air and then hear [the golf balls] falling from the sky.”